It’s a new year and a time many of us evaluate ourselves and lives and want to do better for ourselves in some way. Align ourselves with positive behaviors and actions.
In our yoga practice we learn the value of alignment in our poses. Emphasis on alignment teaches balance and evenness physically and mentally. It wakes us up to being in our body and the physical experience of what is going on: what am I feeling?, what is engaged, and what is dull, what parts of the pose feel strong and where do I feel weak? How do I press the right hand as much as the left to get equal actions in the shoulders and arms? Do I get as much movement through the right hip as the left?
This emphasis on alignment trains our attention to be present and focused in the moment and deal with all feelings that come up. The information that comes up also helps us know how and what to practice. The large variety of poses gives us a range of experiences where we get a picture of what and how to practice: tight hamstrings, weak abs, tight shoulders, oh! I can lift myself up in a dog pose!
Each of us is unique and will have our own needs, strengths and weak areas to bring into balance.
Over the holidays, out of my schedule and around family and family friends I had less control of my usual activities (and more willingly than years ago!). There were opportunities with people, food, activities that I thought I have to put my practice into play here! Align myself with principles yoga teaches. I can not think judging thoughts and have a good time, or be a good listener and think the person is so wrong! or be critical about the food and appreciate all someone did to make guests have a good time. I thought about aligning my thoughts with positive aspects of what I was presented with. I thought about the outcome I wanted and what it would take to get it. It always led to look for things to appreciate and get myself in that place instead of dwelling on what isn’t working for me.
This of course is my own work, and life will continue to present me with challenges that will help me evolve and grow. Yoga practice has gotten me to this point. I have some tools and experiences on the yoga mat and know myself well enough that I have to align with what is going to take me to a better feeling place so I can be in a place of goodwill towards myself and others.
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